Operation Christmas Child

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays because of the amount of warmth in terms of both family and calories. I especially like how this holiday is rooted religiously but has become secular and accepted by everybody! It just shows every person regardless of personal faith is capable of accepting mercy and thanks and loveee.

This past Sunday my friend made me aware of a project from Samaritan’s Purse called Operation Christmas Child, where you pack gifties for children in a shoebox. These shoeboxes will be distributed to under privileged children from all over the WORLD. What’s better than spending the pre-Thanksgiving weekend being thankful that I am financially able enough to give back?

My shoeboxes for a 5-9 year old girl and boy!

My friend and I were really pressed for time because it was the second to last day to drop off these Christmas presents at participating churches, and transportation to drop-off locations is not easy in New York. We had exactly 3 hours to shop, pack, wrap, and drop, so we didn’t waste our precious time!

I decided to pack a box for a girl as well as a boy, and picked out matching presents because I think that’s adorable:

  1. A generic cutie owl plush for the girl, and OLAF for the boy because on my way to the store I walked past a window with Olaf painted on it.
  2. Coloring wood slabs that actually had a princess and a pirate option!
  3. A little bracelet and a little basketball.
  4. There are things called popup stickers now, and I don’t know what they are but I picked one with dolls and one with cars.
  5. Little kitten figurines and GI soldiers that some dad who had a 6-year-old son recommended to me.
  6. Crayons and a mini sketchpad for both, because all children need the chance and freedom to be absolutely creative.

It was not cheap, but I just bought all of the things the little girl in me secretly wanted. I hope these kids will be happy since they probably won’t be getting any other presents. When I was a kid my parents could only afford to buy me stuff during the holidays so it was a HUGE deal to get any presents at all. I even remember the year we finally had enough money to get me multiple presents for Christmas.

The last challenge of the day was wrapping the presents I had packed, because I’ve never wrapped anything before! Whenever I had to give birthday presents my mom would do the wrapping because my craftsmanship skills are so bad. These presents were very badly wrapped, so I hope the children can be excited enough about my gifts to overlook it!

I love this wrapping paper!

I chose to stay anonymous instead of giving the children my contact information, so that they can see it is God out there who loves them. After all, when they are given these gifts they are also presented with the Gospel of Jesus and a chance to join a discipleship program at church so that they too will be welcomed into God’s arms. That’s why it’s actually not too late to build a box even now! There’s an option online to build a box digitally by paying for the items, then the box will be packed and shipped for you. If you want to do some Black Friday shopping today, shopping for a child is not a bad idea!

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10 Comments to "Operation Christmas Child"

Michelle wrote on 27th November 2015 at 9:06 PM

My college is doing the same, and I hope I can help! That’s great that you can help others in that way.

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Cat wrote on 28th November 2015 at 1:36 AM

What a great idea! I love the things you chose, and I hope the children who receive them will love them too 🙂 My neighborhood is doing something similar with shoe boxes, except they’re for the homeless in the city. Your wrapping looks fine, by the way! Kids just want to tear up the wrapping paper anyway 😉 I like that there’s a way to build a box online. I’m going to take a look!

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Kya wrote on 28th November 2015 at 11:18 PM

Happy Thanksgiving! That is such a wonderfully amazing thing to do and I am sure that any child that receives those is going to LOVE them. I am so glad that something like this exists and that you are part of it. Thank you. 💖

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Pauline wrote on 29th November 2015 at 3:37 AM

This is such a sweet post Liv! We used to do this at my old school, put stuff in shoeboxes then send them off. Wrapping things isn’t my favourite thing to do but I’ve gotten better at it because I’ve been selling a lot of my items on eBay so. Your wrapping doesn’t look bad at all! I hope they enjoy their gifts <3

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Kenny wrote on 29th November 2015 at 11:21 AM

What a wonderful thing to do. It’s a nice assortment of goodies. 🙂

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Tara wrote on 30th November 2015 at 7:28 PM

That’s awesome of you for doing it! I think this is a great idea, and this is something I wouldn’t mind doing. Despite me saying I don’t like kids, I do like them and I want them to be happy, especially the underprivileged ones :3 Kudos to you for doing this wonderful thing, Liv!

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Kristine wrote on 1st December 2015 at 2:06 PM

This is great! I love doing toy drives. I am planning on buying some goodies for kids, but I didn’t know where I would be able to drop mine off. Looks like I’m going to mail mine off once I’m on break! 😀

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Queenie wrote on 6th December 2015 at 2:13 AM

I love the wrapping paper (:
My church also supports Operation Christmas Child annually. I think I did this once several years ago. It’s a nice way to share the joy and love during this holiday season!
And happy belated Thanksgiving 😀

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Jenny wrote on 9th December 2015 at 1:43 PM

A group of us got together and participated in Operation Christmas Child this Thanksgiving (the weekend before actually) as well! Wrapping the shoe boxes were a bit of a pain, but we managed to put together 19 boxes (there are like 10 of us doing it) and it felt great dropping them off at the local church 🙂 Apparently they have free shoe boxes you can get and you just need to fold them together (kind of like the USPS priority mail boxes) – no wrapping required! We picked up a bunch for next year!

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Liz wrote on 14th December 2015 at 7:46 PM

This is so amazing! In 2011, my Mimi and I sponsored an angel child and gave them more than what we realised was probably necessary (other people had bought and put bikes under the tree, whereas we went through the actual wishlist and even got the child some clothes). I haven’t seen any places with an Angel Tree here in suburbia, though.

There is a shoebox drop-off location about half an hour away from me, so I’m bookmarking the site and hoping to be able to do this next year, because I really like how this is more personal (the other had rules and made us unwrap our presents, which sucked, but it is the thought that counts :x).

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